Can a Legal Firm Handle Both Criminal and Civil Cases?

Can a Legal Firm Handle Both Criminal and Civil Cases?

The double jeopardy clause in the American Constitution protects defendants from double punishment or prosecution for the same crime.

However, this clause doesn’t extend to the harm suffered by others during the commission of the crime; they can seek legal redress for the harm suffered by filing a civil lawsuit.

Under such circumstances, you need a criminal and civil lawyer working with you. You could wonder whether your law firm can help you handle both. The simple answer is yes. But you may want to dig deeper than that. 

This guide seeks to answer this question, so keep reading.

Criminal vs. Civil Law

The best place to start when answering whether a law firm can handle a criminal and civil case is to understand the differences between the two.

Criminal Law

Criminal law defines and stipulates punishments for acts considered harmful to society. It is enforced by the state or federal government, with the prosecutor bringing the charges against the defendant to court. If found guilty, the defendant faces punishment equivalent to the crime’s nature as stipulated in the law.

When facing a criminal case, you need to have a lawyer specializing in criminal law on your side.

The American constitution guarantees defendants in criminal cases the right to a lawyer and provides a public defender for persons who cannot afford one. However, a private lawyer is always best if you are looking for attention and personalized legal representation.

Civil Cases

Civil law deals with legal disagreements between individuals, organizations, and entities. They aim to resolve disputes fairly to all parties as stipulated through their association or relevant law.

For example, if a person files a civil lawsuit against an entity for breach of contract, the court may need to look into the contract and apply the laws around the same when ruling.

Unlike criminal law, the defendant is not punished criminally. Instead, they are directed to make amends for the wrongdoing, including monetary reimbursement for damages caused, among other remedies.

When facing a civil lawsuit, you do not enjoy the same guarantees for a lawyer as you would in a criminal case, so you will need to hire one yourself.

Legal Firms Specialization

Most legal firms specialize in one area of law and flaunt that specialization as a selling point. However, some legal firms choose not to specialize. Instead, they have different lawyers specializing in a specific area of law.

While working with a specialized law firm is great when dealing with one type of case, it may not be as great when simultaneously pursuing a criminal and civil case. Under such circumstances, a law firm, such as Marble, will work best for you, with civil and criminal defense lawyers in one fold.

Benefits Of Working With The Same Law Firm For A Criminal And Civil Case

Choosing a lawyer that is a perfect fit for your case can be a challenge. When working with a law firm that has lawyers specializing in criminal and civil cases, you do not have to go on a lawyer hunt for a different case. You only need to talk to your law firm, and they will match you up with the best fit for your case.

Secondly, the law firm will already be familiar with your case, meaning your new lawyer may need less time digging up evidence translating into lower legal fees.

If the cases are running concurrently, your lawyers have a better chance of collaborating to ensure that they have a holistic approach and maximize the chances of getting the best outcome for your case.

What to Consider When Choosing a Legal Firm

Track Record and Reputation

Past performances of a law firm can tell you a lot about what to expect. So, before you engage, check their track record and reputation. The legal firm’s website is the first place you want to look at to determine these aspects.

If they have years of experience in their legal practice, they will flaunt it on their website. They may also flaunt some client testimonials for social proof.

But you may want to look beyond their website. For example, you could check their reviews on legal platforms such as Avvo, Justia, and Besides reviews, look at their record of success in the cases handled. If they have a great history, they will probably have a great future, and the opposite is also true.

Specialized Expertise

When choosing a law firm, you have to be sure that they have lawyers specializing in the area of law you want help in. For example, if you are accused of burglary in an accident where the plaintiff also claims they suffered severe injuries, you will want to work with a lawyer specializing in criminal law and another in personal injuries.

If it’s a contractual dispute, you want to ensure that the firm has lawyers with a specialty in contractual agreements in their fold. Specialization ensures that the lawyers have deep insight into the specific field of law, increasing their chances of getting the best outcome.

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